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Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT

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Twenty-Mule Teams

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) In 1883, miners seeking to transport the mineral borax from mines in Death Valley to the nearest railroad spur, 165 miles (266 km) away in Mojave, California, came up with a novel solution: massive wagons hauled by teams of 18 mules and two horses. When fully loaded, the caravans weighed 36.6 tons (33.2 tonnes) and stretched over 100 feet (30 m). The teams hauled more than 20 million pounds (9,000 tonnes) of borax over a six-year period. Why were two horses included on each mule team? Discuss



The Carnival of Basel

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) At precisely 4 AM on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, all of the lights in the town of Basel, Switzerland, are turned off, and the city is lit only by decorative lanterns that are carried or worn on the heads of those gathered for the start of Basler Fasnacht—the Carnival of Basel. For the next 72 hours, thousands of costumed revelers, or Fasnächtlers, enjoy the parades and music of Switzerland's biggest carnival. Why is the use of multicolored confetti frowned upon at the carnival?



The Persian Royal Road

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) The Persian Royal Road was an ancient highway built by King Darius I in the 5th Century BCE to facilitate communication throughout his empire. The route, reconstructed using archeological research and historical records, passed through present day Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. The Greek historian Herodotus' praise for the speed of the Persian couriers, who were said to be able to travel the road's 1,677 miles (2,699 kilometers) in seven days, is popularly associated with what US public service?